Aparna Nadig

Associate Professor

aparna.nadig [at] mcgill.ca (Email)

Psychology of Pragmatics (POP Lab)


BA Cognitive Studies, Lewis & Clark College, Reed College
MS Cognitive Science, Brown University
PhD Cognitive Science, Brown University

Research interests

My research focuses on pragmatic development, social communication, and language and communication in individuals with autism spectrum disorders. I am especially interested in how we use multiple sources of information (visual, prosodic, from previous discourse, about our conversational partner) to arrive at a speaker’s intended meaning, and how we do this in real time, and what characteristics underlie this ability.

Current work in my lab examines:

  • Mechanisms underlying language learning in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) (e.g., memory systems, executive functions, preferential attention to gaze)
  • Individual differences in the dynamics of conversation (e.g., reciprocity of topic, coordination of gaze with turn taking, collaboration on referential pacts)
  • the efficacy of our newly-developed Transition Support Program for young adults with ASD (in collaboration with Prof. Tara Flanagan, McGill Educational and Counselling Psychology)
  • infants’ learning about objects from social cues versus repeated exposure (in collaboration with Prof. Kristine Onishi, McGill Psychology)  

Representative Publications

Eberhardt. M. & Nadig, A. (in press). Reduced sensitivity to context in language comprehension: A characteristic of Autism Spectrum Disorders or of poor structural language abilities?, Research in Developmental Disabilities, Special Issue Autism Plus vs. Only.

Nadig A, Seth, S. & Sasson, M. (2015). Global Similarities and Multifaceted Differences in the Production of Partner-Specific Referential Pacts by Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Frontiers in Psychology, 6:1888.

Bang, J. & Nadig, A. (2015). Learning Language in Autism: Maternal Linguistic Input Contributes to Later Vocabulary, Autism Research, 8 (2), 214-223.

Nadig, A., & Shaw, H. (2015). Acoustic marking of prominence: How do preadolescent speakers with and without high-functioning autism mark contrast in an interactive task? Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 30 (1-2), 32-47.

Bang, J., Burns, J. & Nadig, A. (2013). Conveying subjectivity in conversation: Mental state terms and personal narratives in typical development and children with high functioning autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 43 (7), 1732-1740.

Bani Hani, H., Gonzalez-Barrero, A. & Nadig, A. (2013). Children’s referential understanding of novel words and parent labelling behaviours: similarities across children with and without autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Child Language, 40 (5), 971-1002.

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